"The State of Fun": How Singapore's Fun Campaigns Legitimise an Emerging Casino Economy

Presented by Dr Juan Zhang (School of Social Science, UQ)

Date: 3 November, 2017
Time: 3pm-4pm
Location: Room 601, Michie Building (#9)


When Singapore opened two luxurious casino resorts in 2010, fun was a key rationale that legitimised the state’s project of reinventing Singapore as an exciting global city attractive not only to the rich and famous, but also the transnational tourists with money to spend. While casino gambling had been a thorny issue for decades, the state adopted creative strategies to re-package gambling with culture, arts, shopping and other services as a total experience of fun and entertainment. Based on primary data collected in a two-year project in Singapore (2013-15), this talk discusses how fun is packaged, promoted, governed and experienced in and around Singapore’s casino space. Calculative logics, maximising strategies, and ethics of self-discipline justify the state sanctioned “Fun” campaigns, which lead to the normalisation and legitimisation of an emerging casino economy as Singapore turns itself into a "state of fun”.



Juan Zhang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Social Science, University of Queensland. Her research interests include transnational mobilities, borders, labour migration, and casinos in Asia. She has published in journals including, Current Sociology, Environment & Planning D, Environment & Planning A, Gender Place & Culture, among others. Her recent co-edited book is entitled The Art of Neighbouring: Making Relations Across China's Borders (University of Amsterdam Press, 2017). Juan serves the editorial board of the journal Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration.

Dr Juan Zhang


About Research Seminar and Workshop Series


Writing and communicating about pandemics: 2020 School of Communication and Arts Research Seminar Series

The research seminar and workshop series occur each semester, each with a different topic and guest speaker from UQ or otherwise.

Semester 1, 2020 Seminars & Workshops


Friday, 13 March

Literature as Media: Chinese Online Literature—Storytellers, platforms and transmedia literary world

(Part of the Platform Media: Algorithms, Accountability and Media Design EVENTS)

Dr Tony Xiang Ren, Western Sydney University, with A/Prof Kim Wilkins, Dr Helen Marshall & Emily Baulch

Friday, 27 March



Dr Cedric Courtois

Friday, 10 April


TBC Dr Beck Wise

Friday, 24 April



Dr Skye Doherty

Friday, 8 May


TBC Dr Andrea Bubenik

Friday, 22 May


TBC Dr Chris Hay

Friday, 5 June

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - Imagining the End of the World: Writing the Apocalypse before Covid-19 Dr Helen Marshall

Friday, 3 July

Online via Zoom:

Research Seminar - Developing Disciplinary Literacies in Hybrid Classes

Dr Beck Wise



Michie Building (#9)